The first time my mother suggested that I didn’t work in the summer because “you aren’t teaching a class,” I politely explained how academic life goes–that while no, I wasn’t teaching, I was still working, catching up on the various reviews and manuscripts and proposals that languish during the academic year. While I don’t ascribe to the belief that writing can only take place in large chunks, what last summer taught me is that having unstructured time is incredibly important for the type of thinking that certain projects require. And this summer, I am teaching a summer course (right now, actually) and it’s tough to do anything else but manage the course–we meet four days a week for four weeks.
Last summer it didn’t make sense to take a “break” from things because it wasn’t clear that there would be things to break for-I had made various travel plans in early spring, only to watch them all dissolve as the pandemic continued to go unchecked. And while there are more things for me to do now as a fully vaccinated person, people and places are still catching up.
So as I carefully considered these things–what I wanted my summer to look like, what things I have to complete this summer, and what non-work fun there is to be had–I’ve decide to prioritize new creative writing projects (more on these in the fall), more reading time, more outside time, and less computer time. I’ve tried to post weekly for much of the last year–it’s been a great outlet as I think through some ideas and perspectives I have. (And full disclosure, I started this because I was worried I might not get tenure and figured that having my work more publicly useful would be beneficial.)
This has all been a very long way to say that I’m taking a break from posting weekly, and plan to do monthly posts for June, July, and August. I also added a new page (“What I’ve Read”) to keep track of all the books. I’ll update that periodically, too–but hope to have more in-depth posts on some of the books I’ve read.
Make time and space for yourselves, however and whenever you can.